Juventus strike fear

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The Independent Online
Juventus may be the Serie A leaders and 17 points ahead of 13th- placed Napoli but they will still be wary of the Naples side when they meet at the San Paolo stadium today.

The Juventus defender Ciro Ferrara has no doubt that his former club will offer stiff opposition: "If I'm not mistaken only Inter have managed to win at the San Paolo this year." However, the Neapolitan club have not won a match since the end of January and have been unsettled by the news that their coach, Luigi Simoni, will be leaving at the end of the season.

The Turin club come into the game five points clear of second-placed Parma, with Sampdoria a further four points back in third. Juventus, who defeated Norway's Rosenborg 2-0 in midweek to qualify for a European Cup semi- final clash with Ajax Amsterdam, still have serious worries over their first-choice attacking partnership. Alessandro Del Piero is still out through injury and the club is appealing against the two-match suspension of their Croatian striker Alen Boksic.

Serie A's leading goalscorer, Filippo Inzaghi of Atalanta, and the Juventus reserve strikers Michele Padovano and Christian Vieri, all uncapped, were yesterday included in the Italy squad for the World Cup qualifier in Poland on 2 April. The Italy coach, Cesare Maldini, was obliged to make changes because of injuries to the the Lazio striker Pierluigi Casiraghi and Del Piero. Maldini has also named Gianfranco Zola of Chelsea, Enrico Chiesa of Parma and Middlesbrough's Fabrizio Ravanelli as striking options.

The Milan midfielder Demetrio Albertini said on Friday that he hoped Italy would be able to make a symbolic visit to Auschwitz before the match. The suggestion of such a visit was first raised by the players' union head Sergio Campana.

The Real Madrid striker Predrag Mijatovic does not only hope to score in today's game against Zaragoza, he also hopes to be booked. Mijatovic, along with Real's Christian Panucci and Clarence Seedorf, says he will look for his fifth yellow card of the season in the game so that he will serve his suspension while away on international duty for Yugoslavia against the Czech Republic on 2 April.

Seedorf and Panucci say they may also look for a booking. They could then serve their Spanish suspensions while away with the Netherlands, who face San Marino on March 29, and Italy, who host Moldova on the same day. The Real Madrid president, Lorenzo Sanz, says he will not punish the players for their unorthodox actions.

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